Love Drives Out Fear
“Those who make a practice of sin are straight from the Devil, the pioneer in the practice of sin. The Son of God entered the scene to abolish the Devil's ways.” (1 John 3:8, The Message)
Jesus defeated death, and that means he also defeated Satan. In fact, that’s why he came to Earth. The Bible says, “The Son of God entered the scene to abolish the Devil's ways” (1 John 3:8 The Message).
What is the Devil’s work? He messes with your mind. He fills it with worry, guilt, resentment, anger, fear, and confusion. He whispers in your ear that you’re worthless, helpless, hopeless, and aimless.
Satan uses these thoughts and emotions to keep you enslaved.
The biggest tool Satan uses to mess with your life is fear. The Bible clearly says that fear doesn’t come from God: “There is no fear in love. But perfect love drives out fear” (1 John 4:18 NIV). The Bible also says, “God is love” (1 John 4:16 NIV). So when you’re afraid, that’s not from God -- because there is no fear in love, and God is love.
As a pastor, I’ve learned the number one thing most people fear is death. Satan will use that fear to manipulate you.
But Jesus defeated death; he destroyed the Devil’s work. And so, when you as a Christian grieve a death, you grieve with hope.
You grieve because you miss those you’ve lost. You grieve, but you know that if they believed in Jesus, you will see them again in heaven. They are waiting there in that place where we all were designed to go in the first place.
In Hebrews 2:14-15, the Bible says, “Since all of these sons and daughters have flesh and blood, Jesus took on flesh and blood to be like them. He did this so that by dying he would destroy the one who had power over death (that is, the devil). In this way he would free those who were slaves all their lives because they were afraid of dying” (GW).
So whenever you feel fear creeping into your heart -- whether it’s the fear of death or another fear -- remember that fear isn’t from God. Then ask God to drive out that fear with his perfect love.
Talk It Over
1 John 3:8 says, “The Son of God entered the scene to abolish the Devil's ways” (The Message). What does this verse mean to you?
What are your most common fears? As you name them, remember that none of those fears are from God.
How can you fill your life with more of God’s perfect love so that there is no room for fear?
Are you certain of where you will go when you die?
Many people fear death -- partly because they don’t know where they’ll go when they die. But Jesus came to save you from that fear of death.
The Bible says that every one of us sins and that the penalty of sin is death. But God loves you so much that he sent his Son, Jesus, to pay the penalty of your sins, to bring you into the family of God, and to save you from the fear of death.
If you’re ready to enter God’s family, here’s a prayer you can start with:
“Dear God, I know when I die I’m going to give an account of my life to you directly. I confess I have ignored you. I know I have sinned against you, and I have lived by my plan, not yours. I want that to change, starting right now. I want to turn away from my sins and toward you.
“Thank you for sending Jesus to die for all I’ve done wrong so that I don’t have to pay the penalty. I know I don’t deserve your forgiveness. I know only your grace can save me, Lord.
“Jesus, thank you for loving me so much that you took all my guilt on yourself. You made me acceptable for heaven, and I humbly ask you to save me. I ask you to save me from my sins and fear of death. I believe in you, Jesus. And I believe that you will keep your promise to save me instantly, certainly, completely, and eternally. In Jesus’ name. Amen.”
If you prayed the prayer above, please write and tell me at Rick@PastorRick.com. I’d like to send you some materials as you begin your journey with Jesus.
This devotional © 2021 by Rick Warren. All rights reserved. Used by permission.